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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
  2. <!--
  3. This is the main page about the LN.
  4. It is intended to give the visitor a general overview of what the LN is and to provide the necessary links to other, more detailed pages.
  5. -->
  6. <html>
  7. <version>1</version>
  8. <head>
  9. <title>The Legal Network</title>
  10. <meta name="description" content="Information about the largest structure for legal discussion on Free Software in the world."/>
  11. <meta name="keywords" content="Legal Network, LN, European Legal Network, ELN, Free Software, Open Source, licensing, FSFE, GPL, copyleft, licence violation, lawyers, law, legal experts, best practices, information, join, aim, scope, introduction"/>
  12. </head>
  13. <body>
  14. <h1>The Legal Network</h1>
  15. <!-- What -->
  16. <div id="introduction">
  17. <p>
  18. The Legal Network<a class="fn" id="ref-1" href="#fn-1">1</a> is a
  19. neutral, non-partisan, group of experts in different fields
  20. involved in Free Software legal issues. Currently the Legal
  21. Network has over 400 participants from different legal systems<a
  22. class="fn" id="ref-2" href="#fn-2">2</a>, academic backgrounds<a
  23. class="fn" id="ref-3" href="#fn-3">3</a> and affiliations<a
  24. class="fn" id="ref-4" href="#fn-4">4</a>.
  25. </p>
  26. </div>
  27. <!-- Why -->
  28. <p>
  29. The aim of the Legal Network is to promote discussion and foster
  30. better knowledge of the legal constructs that back Free Software.
  31. The conversations on the Legal Network are intended to be
  32. dynamic, thought-provoking and up to speed with the most recent
  33. developments.
  34. </p>
  35. <h2>Building Legal Expertise</h2>
  36. <p>
  37. Providing a neutral place of discussion allows the Free Software
  38. community at large to grow and develop in various ways. Through
  39. spirited discussions, the Legal Network can also speculate on
  40. possible complications that may arise with Free Software, before
  41. they emerge in legal practice. Consequently, it develops
  42. solutions and tries to build consensus around them in the Free
  43. Software legal community. Members of the Legal Network also use
  44. it to improve each other’s expertise in those fields in which
  45. they are less well-versed, contributing to the overall
  46. improvement legal expertise on Free Software.
  47. </p>
  48. <!-- How -->
  49. <p>
  50. The discussions of the Legal Network are held in a private mailing list. Through the <a href="/activities/ln/llw.html">Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop</a>, the Legal Network provides a catalyst for such activities, giving its members a chance to meet in person, present their works and ideas and get immediate feedback.
  51. </p>
  52. <!-- Output -->
  53. <h2>A Neutral and Protected Space for Discussion</h2>
  54. <p id="outreach"><a
  55. href="/activities/ln/application.html">Admission to the Legal
  56. Network</a> is restricted, and the discussions held there are
  57. confidential. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the content of
  58. the mailing list is contained away from the larger Free Software
  59. community. The <a
  60. href="">Chatham
  61. House Rule</a> applies to all discussions on the Legal Network
  62. mailing list and at Legal Network events, which enables members to
  63. use the information received, but not to reveal the identity nor
  64. the affiliation of the speaker or any of the participants involved
  65. in the discussion.</p>
  66. <p>
  67. Discussions on the Legal Network mailing list and affiliated
  68. events are also subject to a Code of Conduct and <a
  69. href="/activities/ln/rules.html">general rules of moderation</a>.
  70. </p>
  71. <h2>The Council of the Legal Network</h2>
  72. <p>
  73. The <a href="/activities/ln/council.html">Council of the Legal
  74. Network</a> assists the FSFE with administering the Legal Network
  75. by providing the advice of expert members. It operates with a
  76. collaborative attitude and takes into account input from various
  77. sources, including interested parties, prominent members, and the
  78. FSFE.
  79. </p>
  80. <p>
  81. The Council is consulted on the prospective evolution of the
  82. Legal Network and operates as an advisory board of sorts for
  83. decisions taken by the FSFE.
  84. </p>
  85. <h2>Special Interest Groups</h2>
  86. <p>
  87. When a topic that requires more in-depth analysis arises, the
  88. Legal Network can sometimes set up a Special Interest Group
  89. (SIG). SIGs are subject to the same Code of Conduct as the Legal
  90. Network, but participants can invite experts from outside the
  91. Network if their input is deemed valuable. When the discussion on
  92. the original question has reached maturity, the SIG presents its
  93. output to the wider community.
  94. </p>
  95. <p>
  96. Any member of the Legal Network can propose the creation of a SIG
  97. on a new topic by contacting the Legal Coordinator, or by
  98. declaring such interest directly on the Legal Network mailing
  99. list.
  100. </p>
  101. <h2>How to Join the Legal Network</h2>
  102. <p>
  103. Given the high level of confidentiality of some discussions,
  104. admission to (and continued membership in) the Legal Network is
  105. subject to the approval of the FSFE and depends on the respect of
  106. the Legal Network regulations.
  107. </p>
  108. <p>
  109. Successful applicants will have expertise in legal matters
  110. pertaining to Free Software, and will join the Legal Network in
  111. order to share their knowledge with their peers from around the
  112. world. While some members are indeed affiliated with prominent
  113. companies or organisations, this does not constitute a factor in
  114. assessing membership, which is awarded on a personal basis.
  115. </p>
  116. <p>
  117. The Legal Network thrives in the diversity of its members. As
  118. such, there is a particular interest in welcoming new experts
  119. from the geographical areas that are currently under-represented
  120. (i.e. Eastern European countries, the Baltic states, Asia, South
  121. America and Africa).
  122. </p>
  123. <p>
  124. All applicants should have a current Legal Network member sponsor
  125. their application. If you intend to join or to propose someone as
  126. a Legal Network member, use our application form <a
  127. href="/activities/ln/application.html">application form</a>.
  128. </p>
  129. <h2 id="fn">Footnotes</h2>
  130. <ol>
  131. <li id="fn-1">Previously known as "European Legal Network".<a href="#ref-1" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
  132. <li id="fn-2">The Legal Network currently has members from 28 countries spread over 4 continents.<a href="#ref-2" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
  133. <li id="fn-3">The Legal Network is composed by highly competent legal professionals, engineers and other professional figures that contribute with their own specific knowledge.<a href="#ref-3" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
  134. <li id="fn-4">The Legal Network members are private practitioners, volunteers, relevant members of the Free Software community, employees of enterprises of different sizes.<a href="#ref-4" class="ref">&#8617;</a></li>
  135. </ol>
  136. </body>
  137. </html>